John Doane, son of Eleazer and Amelia (Cahill) Doane, was born February 1, 1873, in Salem, Iowa. In 1874 he came with his parents by covered wagon to Delhi Township in Osborne County. John completed local school and graduated from Osborne High School. John qualified for a teacher’s certificate and taught in rural schools in Osborne County for ten years. On May 3, 1893, John was married to Alice M. Standley. They lived on the Meade Ranch in Delhi Township, the site of the Geodetic Center of North America, and later purchased a nearby farm. They pursued farming and stockraising until their move to Osborne in December 1909. The Doanes raised five children, Roy, Florence, Vera, Vernon, and Beryl.
John was keenly interested in governmental affairs of the township. He was appointed as Deputy County Clerk and Assessor of Osborne County in 1910, and the next year was elected County Clerk for the first of six two-year terms. It was said that at taxpayers meetings, John could answer any question on tax, and calculate the person’s taxes while he was answering.
“Method, accuracy, and reliability are the essential qualifications of the man who is incumbent of the office of county clerk. All these accessory traits are combined in the personality and business methods of John Doane, who is now serving his third term as county clerk of Osborne County. Mr. Doane is accommodating in manner, energetic and thorough in his work and has proven to his political adherents and many friends that they made no mistake and their judgment was not wrong, and that he merits the confidence which he enjoys.” Osborne County News, February 10, 1916.
John was elected to represent the 84th district, including Osborne County, in the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka in 1926. He served three terms as Representative, also taking on the job of bank examiner in the State Banking Department. In 1929 he was named receiver for the Commercial State Bank in Cawker City. This job took several years to complete.
In 1934 John moved back with his family to his farm, but due to his failing health they lived there only one year before they moved back to Osborne. During John’s last ten years of life he underwent several surgeries, and suffered with diabetes. In spite of this, he retained his interest in affairs of county and state, and served as Sergeant-of-Arms for several terms of the state legislature in Topeka. During his last eighteen months, he was employed as bookkeeper at the Zimmerman Pump Shop in Osborne. John passed from this life at the community hospital in Beloit, Kansas, on August 12, 1945. He was buried in the Delhi Cemetery in Delhi Township.